(Yicai Global) Oct. 8 -- Some 782 million domestic tourists went traveling in China during this year's week-long National Day holiday, a 7.8 percent increase from the same period a year earlier as top tourist attractions lowered their entry fees.
The travelers spent almost CNY650 billion (USD91 billion) in total, up nearly 8.5 percent, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said yesterday. Tourists heading oversees surpassed 7 million with niche destinations like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Malta growing rapidly in popularity as online bookings increased by double digit growth.
Tourist hot spots around the country launched a wealth of cultural activities and lowered their ticket prices, the ministry added, saying this was the main reason behind the rise in domestic travel.
Retail and restaurant sales also received a boost during the extended break, rising 8.5 percent between Oct. 1 and yesterday to CNY1.5 trillion (USD210 billion). Take-out meals were a key engine in the growth, the ministry said, with more than a million tourists opting to order their food online during the holiday.
Box office sales hit a record high CNY4 billion (USD560 million), more than doubling from last year's holiday, while traffic at entertainment venues like karaoke clubs and theme parks climbed 20 percent annually, according to the data.
Editor: James Boynton